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Transformers Toy Review Archive (older series, 1984 to date)
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Vin Ghostal's review of: Nightbeat

Faction: Autobot
Function: Detective
Generation: One
Sub-Group: Headmaster
Nebulon Component: Muzzle
"Truth is revealed in the smallest detail."

Tough, no-nonsense type. Sometimes breaks rules in order to get what he wants. Works best when he works alone. As comfortable driving down a dark alley as he is on a well-lit, six-lane superhighway. Binary-bonded to Muzzle, a Nebulan private detective with an eye for detail. Carries two photon pistols and a plasma blaster with an infra-red sight. Also equipped with visual and audio sensors. Usually gets by with just cool-headed logic.

Alternate Mode:
Though he's passable in his sports car mode, Nightbeat suffers from poor timing in the TF saga: by 1987, interest in the line had begun to tail off, and thus the production value of the toys began to tail off as well. Transformers would ultimately get bigger (compare Nightbeat to, say, Bluestreak) before they would get smaller (Micromasters all around!), but with this expansion came the use of plastic in place of the die-cast metal that typified the first few years of TF releases. The same goes for the tires, which were rubber on early TF releases but are plastic on the likes of Nightbeat. The result is a sports car that's bigger and yet much lighter than its predecessors. The blazing red stickers on the car doors don't exactly seem to match Nightbeat's subtle personality, but whatever... he's mostly baby blue all around, with yellow at the base of the doors and the front bumper, silver on the windshield and windows, and the aforementioned flaming stickers on the doors. His partner Muzzle is a stumpy, unarticulated yellow midget. There. I said it. The cockpit flips open to accommodate the midget, who could use the ride since he's undoubtedly slow on his feet, what with his legs being perpetually fused together and all. Nightbeat suffers from the same physical handicap, but we'll get to that in a minute.

Robot Mode:
You can get to Nightbeat's robot mode quicker than a jackrabbit on a date. Start by putting Muzzle into your GoBot collection for a minute so he can fraternize with the other tiny, stiff midgets. Now then, flip out the back of the car to form the legs, then pull out the arms and flip out his hands. Note the power gauges located behind Nightbeat's yellow chest plate which indicate his powers when you insert Muzzle. Now, transform Muzzle by flipping up his legs, then insert him into the appropriate hole (figure it out, Einstein) to form Nightbeat's head. Now, put the little blue helmet onto the yellow head and attach the black antennae to both sides of the helmet. There. You're done. I'm serious. Nightbeat's appealing enough as a robot. He's mostly baby blue again, with silver panels on his lower legs and yellow covering his upper legs and chest plate. One would think that his orange face would clash with the blue/yellow scheme, but it works somehow.

Transformation:5 - if you can't do this, you're in real trouble.
Durability: 9 - The car itself is pretty damn durable, but Nightbeat's appearance really suffers if you lose his blue helmet and/or his black antennae, and especially if you lose Muzzle. Overall, though, he'll be one of the last TF's in your collection standing if they drop the bomb.
Fun:7 - Those who have read the comic will get more fun out of Nightbeat than those who see him as nothing more than a late, misguided TF release. He's pretty cool, another addition to your fleet of Autobot cars.
Price: 8 - Cheap, and you're getting a decent amount of value for your dollar. Nightbeat's not the most common TF on the market, but he ain't the most rare either...snagging a complete one will probably run you about $25-ish.
Overall: 6.5 - Well, whatever. He's nothing special, but he's a good amount of fun for my money. He shouldn't be the first Autobot car you invest in, but he shouldn't be the last either.

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